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Rongze “Olivia” Lu, Ph.D.


Ph.D., Cancer Immunology
Beckman Research Institute, City of Hope


Rongze “Olivia” Lu, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Neurosurgery.

Through close collaboration with clinicians at Dell Medical School and Dell Children’s Hospital, her research is focused on investigating the molecular mechanisms of immune suppression and evasion in brain-tumor microenvironment with the goal to develop novel immunotherapeutics for brain tumors.

Lu’s previous research has identified that protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) regulates immune suppression in T cells in multiple tumor models including brain tumor. Based on those findings, a Phase Ib/II trial is being planned by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to study combining PP2A and PD-1 inhibitors to treat brain tumor.

Lu received her doctorate in cancer immunology from Beckman Research Institute at City of Hope, an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. She then pursued postdoctorate studies at Genentech under the mentorship of Lasker Award Laureate Napoleone Ferrara, M.D. Lu’s postdoc research focused on the role of myeloid-derived suppressor cells in tumor angiogenesis and resistance to anti-VEGF therapy. After her postdoc training, she joined Medimmune/AstraZeneca and later on AbbVie to lead multiple drug discovery programs for inflammatory diseases and cancer.

Lu has published in high-profile journals including Nature, Nature Communications, Plos Pathogens, Cancer Research and Journal of Biological Chemistry. Lu served as section editor of immunotherapy for Journal of Translational Medicine from 2017 to 2018 and session chair for a cancer immune responsiveness workshop organized by Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer in 2018 and 2019.

Professional Affiliations
  • Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer